Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Who are you taking coffee, no sugar?

It has been a fabulous food week for me.  The highlight, of course was our 5th anniversary dinner at Canlis on Saturday.  It's so cool to be able to go back to the place we got married on every anniversary (I don't think we've missed one yet!)  Fortunately TJ's parents were in town, so they babysat for us.

TJ is not a food adventurer, and prefers to have a predictably good meal rather than trying someplace new, especially on a special occasion.  I love food, and trying new fancy restaurants and cuisines.  That makes it hard for us sometimes.  While Canlis has always been good, there were times I was yearning to go somewhere else just to try something new and different.

But now there's no conflict, because Canlis got a new executive chef about a year ago.  And he's young (younger than me!  I feel old!).  I recently read an article in a local magazine about how he experiments with molecular gastronomy techniques, but mostly saves those for the tasting menu, while leaving the old standbys on the regular menu.  So it's the perfect restaurant for us.  TJ can get the teriyaki beef appetizer (not on the menu, but TO DIE FOR) and the Canlis salad which have been around for decades, and I can try stuff I've never even heard of on the tasting menu.

Which is exactly what we did.  I opted for the vegetarian tasting menu because I'm always curious to see what awesome chefs can do to make veggie dishes interesting.  It did not disappoint, and even better, I wasn't rolling out of the restaurant with that foggy, overly full feeling either.  Satisfied, but not stuffed.  TJ got (and shared! so nice!) his teriyaki beef appetizer and the Canlis salad (with bacon! yum!).  I had the truffle fries and malasadas (Portuguese/Hawaiian donuts! woot!).  I'm drooling just thinking about the sweet coconut sauce that went with the malasadas.  So yeah, an amazing food experience and I'm already trying to devise ways to go back there more often. 

And if that weren't enough, on Sunday, I got a small delivery from Curry Aroma, a new Indian-Pakistani food delivery service.  Their prices were reasonable enough to get me to try it once based on a Facebook ad I saw (yes, FB ads really do work!) and the first delivery was excellent, so I ordered again last week.  I tend to order things I either don't know how to cook myself or don't want to bother with.  Protein is especially challenging for me.  I hate cooking meat because raw meat is gross.  But I like eating it. 

Most Indian restaurants don't have beef on their menus, so I think I can count on one hand the number of beef curries I've had.  This week I got a dry masala shredded beef curry that blew my mind.  It was the exact same consistency as the Mexican shredded beef in an enchilada, but with Indian spices instead.  A-MAZING.  Not too greasy or fatty, and no chunks of vegetables or sauce to interfere with the meaty yumminess.  Even TJ thought it was good.  I'm looking forward to eating the rest of it, with the Pillsbury brand roti I bought at the Indian grocery store.  Can I just say how odd it is to see a picture of the Pillsbury doughboy on Indian food?  Crazy. 

But wait, there's more!  Last night I went to see Vienna Teng play at the Triple Door, my all-time favorite music venue.  They serve food from Wild Ginger, which I'm not crazy about in general, except for the roast duck.  (Yes, there is a meat trend now.)  I'm not usually a fan of eating cute animals, but for this duck I will make an exception.  With a side of coconut milk roti bread, plus the puffy white steamed buns that came with the duck, I was a happy girl.  (More on the music in another post later.)

And since we're on the happy Asian food trend, lunch today (surprisingly) did not disappoint.  Some folks from the lab I used to work in at the Hutch were getting together to celebrate our former boss's birthday.  Since BabyT and I love an outing, we trekked over to Seattle, to eat at the Malay Satay Hut.  When they chose the restaurant, I was very disappointed.  We have one near home, and it sounds all promising and yummy (Malaysian food and meat on a stick!) but I've been there several times and disliked it each time.

Except for twice - today and the last time I went there with my labmates a few years ago.  I think the secret is Phil, a former coworker, who is from Singapore and does the ordering for us.  He seems to pick the right things, because the roti canai, mango shrimp, and mysterious beef curry were all YUM.  So either they know he's an expert and make it extra-yummy, or he's ordering something different from what I usually order.  I guess I'll never know, and don't plan to go there unless Phil is going to be there too.

Peanut is also enjoying some good food as well.  Our vet told us he weighs too much, which is not surprising since he's become really inactive lately since his knees and arthritis are bothering him.  So we've had to replace a cup of his food with canned carrots.  Which he thinks is the greatest thing EVER.  So it's win-win all around.  Hopefully that, plus the pain pills and anti-inflammatories, will make him a little more comfortable so that we can go out walking again.

BabyT is also enjoying solid foods.  Baby-led weaning is going marvelously well.  She's finally actually eating things - some apple, mango, pear, sweet potato and carrots.  We just steam them and hand her pieces and she seems to have gotten the hang of what to do with them.  It's still really fun to watch, though messy.

And that's the food situation here!  Anything interesting happening for you?

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